Chelsea transfer window 2015: Pedro, Falcao and a 'mild panic'
The Blues have not been as efficient as they were last summer, and it shows, despite some big-name arrivals
Chelsea transfer news: Stones bid rejected as City join hunt
The future of John Stones has become a hot topic as the speculation over a big-money move to Chelsea increases.
According to the Daily Express the Blues have had a second offer of £26m (up from their initial bid of £20m) knocked back by Everton, who have told the Premier League champions that they'll "have to pay £34m" for the defender.
The paper claims that Jose Mourinho has identified Stones "as his number one summer target" and the man to eventually replace John Terry in the Chelsea defence. The 34-year-old skipper is about to start what could well be his last fully functioning season at the Bridge and the 21-year-old Stones is seen as Terry's natural successor.
The Daily Star reckons that Chelsea have been given "fresh hope" in their pursuit of Stones after rumours began circulating about Everton's pursuit of Dynamo Kiev defender Aleksandar Dragovic. Arsenal have been linked with Dragovic in recent weeks but the Star says that Everton gaffer Roberto Martinez "has held preliminary talks" with the player who is reportedly eager to leave Ukraine. If Everton do a table a bid for the 24-year-old Dragovic it will likely be funded by the money made on Stones.
But will Chelsea have to see off other suitors to land the player? According to the Daily Mirror, Manchester City are also "ready to pounce" for Stones as they look to increase the number of homegown players in their squad. The Mirror claims that City had originally wanted to give Stones another season to fine tune his game at Goodison Park, but Chelsea's interest in the centre-half has made them "increasingly nervous" and a bid from the Etihad is in the pipeline.
Chelsea transfer news: Drogba departs, teenager Bailey arrives
Didier Drogba has become the latest big name to head Stateside for the thrills and spills of Major League Soccer, following in the bootsteps of David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.
The BBC reports that the 37-year-old, released by Chelsea earlier in the summer, has joined Montreal Impact. The Ivory Coast striker will be a "designated player" at the Canadian side – in other words his wages will not be restricted by the MLS salary cap, so he can expect to be handsomely rewarded for his services. Describing the signing as "one of the biggest days in club history", Montreal president Joey Saputo added: "It's an honour to welcome Didier Drogba to the Impact... his arrival will be beneficial in every aspect."
Meanwhile have Chelsea identified the next Drogba? According to Metro the Blues are "on the brink" of sealing a deal for 17-year-old Jamaican striker Leon Bailey. Currently with Slovakian outfit Trencin, Bailey is "set for an imminent move to Stamford Bridge" and Metro says that once at the Blues he will be sent on loan to Belgian club Racing Genk.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho – who took a swipe at Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger on Monday, telling him to "get a calculator" if he thinks Chelsea have spent more on players recently than the Gunners - sees the Jamaican hitman as one for the future and in the meantime wants him to gain valuable game time in a less demanding league than the Premier.
Chelsea transfer news: Luis out, Rahman, Pogba and Stones in?
After less than a year at Stamford Bridge, Filipe Luis is reportedly "set to leave Chelsea" after an £11.1m deal was agreed between the Blues and his former club Atletico Madrid. The Brazilian defender arrived in west London last summer for £15.8m, but never managed to establish himself under Jose Mourinho and now the 29-year-old is on his way home.
Despite a £4.7m loss on the Brazilian, Metro says the Blues are preparing to splash out more cash on a replacement, and "are likely to move for Augsburg wingback Abdul Baba Rahman" as the man to take over his dressing room peg.
The Daily Express reports that Chelsea, along with the two Manchester clubs are "on alert" after confirmation from Juventus that Paul Pogba can leave Turin. The France midfielder and Manchester United flop has been linked with a host of leading European clubs and Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta admitted they face a struggle to retain the 22-year-old magician.
"We're in the position where we'll listen to interest from other clubs," admitted Marotta. "In the event he says he's not happy to continue his adventure with Juventus, we might look at some offers."
Asked if any offers had been forthcoming, Marotta replied in the negative, but it appears only a matter of time before Chelsea – considered Pogba's strongest suitors in England – table a bid in the wake of the club's comments.
Meanwhile The Sun claims an exclusive with its revelation that John Stones is angling for a move to Chelsea. Apparently the Blues are preparing a £25m bid for the Everton centre-back with the Sun quoting a source close to the 21-year-old Toffees' defender, who says: "This is not a Raheem Sterling situation where there's any bad feeling between John and the club or vice-versa — but John is definitely interested in going to Chelsea."
Chelsea transfer news: Blues 'hijack' Man Utd Witsel deal
Roman Abramovich is preparing to "hijack" Manchester United's attempt to sign Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel.
According to the Daily Star, which has been tuning into Belgian radio station RTBF, the Russian billionaire will shortly "jet to Russia to secure the signing of the Zenit St Petersburg ace".
That will be a body blow not just to United, who have long been tailing Witsel, but also AC Milan, who are said to have had him high on their wishlist.
Apparently Abramovich is good pals with Alexander Dyukov Valeryevich, the Zenit owner, and that friendship with facilitate a deal with the Blues reportedly "prepared to pay £24m" for Witsel, who manager Jose Mourinho sees as a replacement for John Obi Mikel.
Chelsea transfer news: Begovic joins for £8m, next up Pedro?
Chelsea have acted to fill the gap in their squad left by the departure of Petr Cech to Arsenal, and signed Asmir Begovic from Stoke.
The 28-year-old Bosnia keeper has signed on at Stamford Bridge in an £8m deal, reports The Guardian. The club has announced that Begovic will be given the No1 shirt as Thibaut Courtois, the Blues' regular stopper, preferring to wear 13.
Stoke have also taken Marco van Ginkel on a season-long loan from Chelsea, reports the Guardian, but it says that deal is "separate to Begovic's move".
The keeper "joins Radamel Falcao as the second senior addition to the ranks, with two more significant arrivals still anticipated before the start of the new campaign", adds the paper.
Could one of them be Barcelona midfielder Pedro? That's the claim of the International Business Times, which cites Spanish publication, Sport, as the source of reports that the Blues have beaten off Arsenal, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain to sign the Spaniard.
Apparently Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas have talked to the player "personally" and convinced Pedro that he'd be better off moving to the Bridge than staying put at Barcelona.
The frontman penned a new contract with the European champions earlier this year but according to Sport "it was to lower his release clause from €150m (£108m, $167m) to €30m" in anticipation of a summer move. With Pedro finding game time hard to come by following the arrival of Luis Suarez, the 27-year-old has agreed to join Chelsea where he's been told he'll have more opportunities to showcase his talents.
Meanwhile the Express reports that Chelsea have also pipped Arsenal to the hand of Chile midfielder Charles Aranguiz. Apparently the Blues "are in talks with Brazilian club Internacional over a deal" for the 26-year-old and terms will soon be agreed. Aranguiz was instrumental in helping Chile win the Copa America and Chelsea see the playmaker as an important addition to their squad. The Express says that the Blues "have a good relationship" with Internacional after signing Oscar in 2012 and " a fee of around £8m" should be enough to land Aranguiz.
Chelsea transfer news: deals for Aranguiz and Begovic close
Chelsea will add some steel to their midfield and welcome yet another South American to their squad by signing Chile international Charles Aranguiz from Brazilian club Internacional.
Aranguiz, who helped Chile to victory in the Copa America at the weekend, will cost Blues around £16m and personal terms are being thrashed out discussed, reports Metro. The 26-year-old has won 36 caps for his country.
Arsenal were also reported to be monitoring his situation, while Marseille are said to "disappointed" about the Chelsea development.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have offered Stoke City their Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel in an effort to finally land goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
The Daily Mail reports Chelsea are ready to give Stoke a player on loan to get the deal done. Stoke Boss Mark Hughes wanted youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek but Chelsea rejected his request because he is expected to feature in the first team this season. Van Ginkel, 22, who struggled with injury in the early part of his Chelsea career, spent last season on loan at AC Milan where he made 18 appearances.
Chelsea are desperate to bring in a new goalkeeper after Petr Cech joined Arsenal, but Begovic's £8m move to Stamford Bridge looks to be taking shape following Shay Given's transfer to Stoke City.
With an extra keeper signed up and the promise of a player from Chelsea, Hughes now looks likely to sanction the sale of Begovic.
Chelsea transfer news: new deal for Mourinho, but no Isco
Good news for Chelsea fans with The Sun reporting manager Jose Mourinho will sign a new four-year deal at Stamford Bridge, and has turned down a pay rise. The paper says Mourinho is so keen to remain at Stamford Bridge until 2019 that he shunned more money and will remain on his £8.5m salary.
Mourinho, who returned to Stamford Bridge for his second spell in 2013, guided Chelsea to the double last season. The Blues won the Premier League at a canter and were victorious in the Carling Cup.
The Special One, the most successful manager in Chelsea's history, is two years into his current four-year deal and has consistently said he is very happy at the club. The Evening Standard says Mourinho's assistants, Rui Faria and Silvinho Louro, have also been handed new contracts.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror says a Chelsea bid for Real Madrid midfielder Isco has been rejected by the Spanish giants. The paper report Blues offered £20m for the 23-year-old midfielder but new Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez does not want to sell the Spanish star.
The Mirror also claims Mourinho is ready to off-load Brazilian playmaker Oscar. Juventus have offered £12m for him, which would only be after a one-year loan option, but that is way below Chelsea's valuation.
One move that does seem to be going through at Stamford Bridge is the signing of Fluminense winger Kenedy, according to the Daily Mail. The 19-year-old flyer was having a medical at the club yesterday ahead of a £6.3m transfer. The Brazil under-20 international was initially sold to an investment company, which has now arranged the move to Blues.
Chelsea transfer news: Falcao signs for Blues, Pogba next?
It's not just the thermometer rising now that July's here. The gossip is also hotting up with the opening of the summer transfer window, and The Guardian has claimed a scorching exclusive with the news that Radamel Falcao has agreed a deal with Chelsea.
According to the paper, "Falcao’s uncle and father both confirmed on Tuesday night that a deal had been signed with the London club, believed to be a one-year loan from his French club, Monaco, with an option to make the move permanent next summer".
Falcao endured a miserable season with Manchester United last term, and although the deal with Chelsea looks similar than the one that took him to Old Trafford, the Blues believe he has the ability to rediscover the form he showed before a serious knee injury in early 2014 that ruled him out of last summer's World Cup and hampered the relaunch of his career in Manchester.
And if the Daily Star is to be believed this could be an impressive transfer window for Chelsea, who it claims "have offered £35m plus Oscar for Paul Pogba".
The French playmaker and Manchester United reject has become what the Star describes as "one of the hottest properties on the planet" following his flowering at Juventus. As well as Chelsea, Barcelona and the two Manchester clubs are also said to be tailing Pogba, which is why Juventus have apparently slapped an £80m price tag on the Frenchman.
That's caused most of his suitors to blanch but not Chelsea. The Star, taking its lead from Spanish newspaper Sport, says the Blues "have put together a package which they hope will tempt Juventus to lower their demands". It's no secret that the Italian champs like the look of Oscar and while in the past Chelsea have always ruled out selling the Brazilian, the Star says that Jose Mourinho has "softened" his stance so desperate is he to sign Pogba.